PhD Candidate in Sociology/Political Science

Trondheim, Norway
Tuesday, 15 October 2019
End of advertisement period
Friday, 15 November 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

There is a temporary position available at the Department of Sociology and Political Science (ISS) as a PhD candidate. The position is a fixed-term position with the primary goal of qualifying for work in professional or academic research positions. This is one of four positions announced simultaneously, within the new PhD cluster S-MOB, the other three departments being the Department of Psychology, the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology, and the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture (KULT). 

This position represents political science and sociology in the PhD cluster sustainability. The Department of Sociology and Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology invites applications from qualified individuals for a three-year PhD position in political science or sociology. The successful candidate will represent ISS in the new PhD cluster “Sustainability”, which will also comprise three more PhD candidates from the fields of psychology, science and technology studies, and industrial economics. All PhDs in the new cluster will focus on the application area of zero-/low-carbon mobility decisions. 

The 2C degree target for global warming is unattainable without a sustainable transition within transportation, and this is a transition that has so far been slow: in the area that has arguably progressed the fastest, plug-in electric cars as of 2018 accounted for less than 0.5% of the total amount of passenger cars on the road. When it comes to heavy-duty vehicles, shipping, and aviation, we have come far shorter. Thus, this is a daunting challenge, and one that remains to be solved. The fossil fuel monopoly within transportation has been hard to challenge – far harder than for instance within the power sector. 

Part of this is obvious – the right technologies took a long while to mature to an extent that made a transition conceivable. What we are however interested in here, are institutions and regulations, politics and governance, both at the national level and the international level, as well as the interactions between the political level and the industrial level, as mobility solutions are typically produced by a handful of industries that have grown to become some of the biggest and politically most influential on the planet. Thus, the PhD in political science or sociology will focus on the governance, the politics and the political economy of sustainable mobility solutions. How can supranational institutions, states, regions and municipalities contribute to implementing a structural shift in mobility away from current-day fossil fuels toward sustainable fuel solutions? How have some countries succeeded (to some extent) where others have failed in implementing sustainable mobility solutions? What are the policies, regulations and political processes that create sustainable solutions or hinder them? Which are the actors, stakeholders and vested interests that are involved, and are they helping a transition or hindering it? Why has it taken so long for alternative mobility solutions to arrive, and what has been the role played by the state and by the different industrial actors? The candidate may also explore the governance, politics and the political economy of the resources and infrastructure that is required for a sustainable mobility transition to be implemented on a large scale. 

Main duties and responsibilities

  • The PhD candidate will collaborate with NTNU Sustainability and participate in the research group Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development.
  • It is required that the candidate participates in international activities.

Qualification requirements

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in social sciences or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Other qualifications:

  • A Master’s degree or equivalent with excellent results in political science, sociology or other relevant social scientific disciplines (e.g. science and technology studies, anthropology, geography, economics) 
  • Good knowledge about qualitative and quantitative social science research methods 
  • The ability to analyze data using theories and concepts from the social sciences, in particular political science or sociology
  • A background in political science or sociology will be regarded as an advantage, but candidates from other social sciences and humanities will be evaluated
  • Former experience in research will be regarded as an advantage
  • Experience in interdisciplinary work will be regarded as an advantage 
  • Fluency in written and spoken English 

Personal characteristics

Personal suitability to enter cross-disciplinary research teams. Suitable candidates should have the ability to cooperate, have good communication skills, be flexible and solution-oriented

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Social Sciences, specializing in sociology or political science.

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criterias in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

 It is a prerequisite that the appointed takes up residence in Trondheim in order to be present and available for the institution as required.

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Espen Moe, +47 73592230,

For information about processing of applications, please contact HR, Kirsten Sjolte, e-mail:, or Marie Kristiansen, e-mail: 

About the application:

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

The candidate must include a tentative research statement of a maximum of five pages of text (not including notes, figures/tables, references, appendix). The application should also include a CV, recommendations, certificates and diplomas, and a publication list.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number SU-369 when applying. 

Application deadline: 15.11.2019

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Sociology and Political Science

We conduct research, teaching and dissemination in sociology, political science, media, communication and information technology, and sport sciences. The Department offers five-year master’s programmes in teacher education (lektorutdanning) in social sciences as well as in physical education and sports. As a social science department we have a special obligation to contribute to the public debate on important social issues. The Department of Sociology and Political Science is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences.

Deadline 15th November 2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary